Land Rover Defender Won’t Die without a Fight, Gets 481 HP Jaguar V8 from Tuner JE MotorWorks

The Land Rover Defender is living its final days after a 67 years life-span, but that doesn't mean it can't make the most of the little time it's got left.
JE MotorWorks Zulu2 1 photo
Photo: JE MotorWorks
Out of the many cars available in this world, the Land Rover Defender must rank among the last you would consider for a performance tune. Well, not the Brits. They love their Defenders and would do anything for them, even something so apparently ridiculous as placing a 475 bhp (481 hp) V8 engine under one's bonnet.

This orange freak you see here is the work of Land Rover specialist JE MotorWorks and goes by the name of Zulu². It's only a development vehicle, the first production Zulu² being an ongoing project expected to debut soon, in September 2015.

If you're a fan of JE MotorWorks you'll know they already have a similar vehicle called 'Super Defender Zulu'. While you shouldn't take the 'raised to the power of two' quite literally, the new Zulu² will obviously be an evolution of the old vehicle.

First, there's the engine. A Land Rover Defender will normally get a 2.2 four-cylinder diesel with around 120 hp that should come bundled with some ear plugs. The Zulu², however, has a Jaguar-sourced V8 engine with 481 hp and almost 650 Nm (479 lb-ft). It also has a six-speed automatic transmission that will make the most of that power.

Isn't that too much power?

"Ha," you'll say "that thing will rock all over the place and will shortly end up in a ditch or a hedge, as it can't handle all that power." Right you are, but JE MotorWorks are no fools, so they're one step ahead. They took the time to tinker with the suspensions as well as the brakes, gifting the Zulu² with decent handling.

"If it rotates or moves, then we've modified, enhanced or improved it," says JE MotorWorks’ David O’Conner. "We know how to make Defenders go, stop, steer and ride beyond the wildest dreams of most standard Defender drivers - but it's the customers who specify the way they want them to look inside and out."

The JE MotorWorks Zulu² can be based on any of the many types of Land Rover Defenders, in left- or right-hand drive. The order list is open at the moment, but will most likely close soon as JE MotorWorks only plan to build 25 of them.

They won't come cheap, though. JE MotorWorks say the prices start at £149,500 (close to 210,000 euros or $233,500) or 125,000 (175,000 euros, $195,000 respectively) plus taxes for overseas clients. The prices include the cost of a new Defender, so if you already own one, the makeover should be a bit less expensive.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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